Use your words

List of clams: Comedy phrases that need to be retired

John August: John Quaintance recently tweeted photos of two whiteboards listing phrases banned in the Workaholics writers’ room. His tweet has been widely shared, and is a mitzvah to all writers.

These phrases are all clams — jokes that aren’t funny anymore and therefore need to die. When you include them in a script, you’re evoking the rhythm of comedy without the content of comedy. They’re not just cliché; they’re hollow.

  • ___? More Like ___
  • Can You Not?
  • …I Can Explain!
  • Let’s Not And Say We Did
  • I Didn’t Not ___
  • Va-Jay-Jay
  • Wait For It…
  • Just Threw Up In My Mouth
  • Really?
  • Good Talk
  • And By ___ I Mean ___
  • Check Please!
  • Awkward!
  • Shut The Front Door!
  • Lady Boner
  • Rut-Roh!
  • I Think That Came Out Wrong
  • Uh…Define ___
  • No? Just Me?
  • Why Are We Whispering?
  • That Went Well…
  • Stay Classy
  • I’m A Hot Mess!
  • That’s Not A Thing
  • It’s Science
  • Bacon Anything
  • Cray-Cray
  • Real Talk
  • #Nailed It
  • Random!
  • Awesome Sauce
  • Thanks…I Guess
  • Little Help?
  • Laughy McLaugherson
  • ___ Dot Com
  • I Love Lamp
  • Oh Helllll Naw!
  • #Epic Fail
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
  • Food Baby
  • Douche (Nozzle)
  • Soooo, That Just Happened
  • Squad Goals
  • I Just Peed A Little
  • Too Soon?
  • Spoiler Alert
  • Um…In English Please
  • Note To Self
  • Life Hack
  • Best. ___. Ever. (or Worst. ___. Ever.)
  • It’s Giving Me All The Feels
  • Garbage People
  • That Happened One Time!
  • Well Played
  • I’m Right Here!
  • Hard Pass
  • Are You Having A Stroke?
  • Go Sports!
  • Zero Fucks Given
  • We Have Fun
  • Who Hurt You?
  • I Absorbed My Twin In The Womb
  • I’ll Take ___ For $500, Alex
  • Thanks Obama
  • Wait, What?
  • Shots Fired
  • Sharkweek
  • You Assclown
  • Ridonkulous
  • Bag Of Dicks
  • Hey, Don’t Help
  • Debbie Downer
  • I Can’t Unsee That
  • That Just Happened
  • See What I Did There?
  • I’ll Show Myself Out
  • Here’s The Line, Here’s You
  • ___ On Steroids/Crack
  • Swipe Right
  • White People Problems
  • I Could Tell You But I’d Have To Kill You
  • That’s Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
  • I Think We’re Done Here

Found via John August’s own Scriptnotes podcast. I recommend listening to this episode for the ensuing conversation about these ‘clams’, why they happen and what to do in their stead (the segment is about 20 minutes in).

See also

Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s